Veterans’ Health Care Deal Signed Into Law

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2014 – A bipartisan bill that will allocate $16.2 billion to improvements to veterans’ health care was passed overwhelmingly by Congress and has been signed into law by President Obama. The deal is designed to reduce wait times and increase the number of doctors and nurses, among other changes.

The bulk of the money, Veterans Affairs’ $10 billion, will go towards emergency spending to allow veterans who can’t get appointments with VA doctors to get care from outside physicians. $5 billion has been allocated to hiring medical staff, and the rest will be used to open 27 new clinics nationwide.

“Long waits for appointments have been a tremendous problem for veterans in recent years,” said David Magann, a Florida-based veterans’ attorney. “This bill may help veterans get off waiting lists and into doctors’ offices.”

Veterans who live at least 40 miles from a Veterans Affairs clinic or hospital and veterans who have waited a month or more for an appointment will be able to receive coverage for appointments with private doctors.

In recent months, the VA has been under intense scrutiny for lengthy waiting lists and the falsification of records to cover up the severity of the problem. Among the most severe allegations are reports of patients dying before receiving treatment.

A recent VA audit revealed that about 10 percent of veterans seeking medical care faced a wait of at least 30 days for an appointment, while 46,000 saw three month waits for initial appointments. According to the report, in the last decade, 7,000 veterans who sought medical care never got an appointment.

In addition to the portions directly addressing wait times, the bill gives the VA secretary the ability to fire senior executives immediately for negligence or poor performance. Employees would have streamlined appeal rights.

Learn more at David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548